On 17 September, the First Minister announced the introduction of a COVID Pass to help control the spread of coronavirus – cases are currently very high in Wales “but the alert level will remain at zero for the next 3 week”. The Press Release COVID Pass for events and nightclubs announced states: “People will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from next month”. Extracts are reproduced below.
The requirement to show an NHS COVID Pass will come into force from 11 October. It will mean all over-18s will need to have a NHS COVID Pass to enter:
- Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
- Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
- Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance
People who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS COVID Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status. It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.
We hope introducing the requirement to show a COVID Pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.
Showing a COVID Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it. We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.
In England, the Government has indicated that should “Plan B” be deemed necessary, it expects mandatory vaccine-only certification would be introduced for visitors to the following venues:
- All nightclubs;
- Indoor, crowded settings with 500 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as music venues or large receptions;
- Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as outdoor festivals; and
- Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia.
There are some settings that will be exempt from requirements to use the NHS COVID Pass, including communal worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals and other commemorative events, protests and mass participation sporting events.
This aligns with the view of the Church of England which has been opposed use of ‘vaccine passports’ in most church settings, but recognises their limited wider need.